One of the major criticisms of the NBA is the relatively dull crowds at most games. The Wizards are no exception. Unless LeBron James is coming to town or Lakers fans are invading the Verizon Center, the Phone Booth is pretty dull. While the Capitals Rock the Red, the Wizards Whisper the White.
Ted Leonsis has noticed the disparity and he wants to do what he can to improve the in-game experience for Wizards fans, via Joseph White:
Just interviewed Ted Leonsis. Good news for basketball purists: He's going to cut out some of the manufactured noise at Wizards games.
Leonsis also wud like to see more of communal spirit among fans at Wizards games. "There is no 'Unleash The Fury' for the Wizards."
If Ted Leonsis is serious about improving the in-game experience for Wizards fans, he needs to re-connect with an old friend of the franchise.
Robin Ficker was one of the greatest hecklers in sports history, routinely finding ways to get under opposing players, coaches and even announcers' skin during games. His heckling was so legendary, Charles Barkley hired him to come to Phoenix during the 1993 Finals to rile up Chicago:
At the request of Charles Barkley, Ficker even traveled to the 1993 NBA Finals in Phoenix, where he razzed Michael Jordan about a series of gambling allegations.
"Barkley got me a seat behind the Bulls bench, so I brought these huge playing cards, dice and a bunch of dollar bills," Ficker said. "During the game, I'm dealing [Jordan] a hand and asking him what he wants to bet. And he's turning around and holding up three fingers. It was fun."
He hasn't been at a Wizards game since the team moved to the then MCI Center in 1997 and Ficker's seats were moved away from the visiting team's bench. Ted, if you want to make Wizards games fun again, bring back Robin Ficker.